Bring Back the Bush, Channel 4
- Brian Donaldson
- 27 January 2020
Entertaining if not especially revelatory documentary about pubic hair
January is traditionally the time where people re-evaluate who or what they are, with much attention directed towards their own body. So as that month of good intentions and empty promises closes, it's perhaps appropriate that a one-off documentary about accepting who you are gets aired. In Bring Back the Bush, body positivity campaigner Chidera Eggerue (previously, her anti-bra stance led to the #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER movement) hangs out with four other internet influencers (can a cage fighter be dubbed an 'influencer'?) as they go on a quest to simply let their pubic hair grow (as nature intended).
Eggerue is a warm and empathic host who sets up a confession booth for women to tell her their body-shaming tales when it comes to matters downstairs, while she accompanies someone attending one of her regular body-waxing sessions; it's a scene which everyone (male or female, shaven or hairy) will struggle to watch without tightening their legs together and gritting their teeth.
The only problem with Bring Back the Bush is that its answers are already widely acknowledged, despite Eggerue's best efforts at seemingly opening our eyes to fresh revelations. Tastes and fashions come and go, with the propensity for modern pornographers to find female pubic hair somehow awful and unclean, leading to women going to great lengths to remove the offending growth, usually at the insistence of their porn-obsessed male partners.
Eggerue visits an adult-entertainment set in Hollywood where she learns that a hairy woman is now considered a niche taste on porn websites, and drops in on a merkin designer who provides 'muff doubles for bush-free female actors'. While much of this is done with a wink and a giggle, the serious point remains that women who show a bit of hair on social media are subjected to, at best ridicule, at worst death and rape threats. The tragedy is that letting nature do its work is somehow seen as being the weird anomaly when people spending piles of cash to go through extreme pain for the satisfaction of others is surely more offensive.
Bring Back the Bush is on Channel 4, Monday 27 January, 10pm